How Can I Get a Pennsylvania GED?

The GED (General Educational Development) exam is a series of tests based on a typical high school curriculum. When you pass the test in Pennsylvania, you'll be issued a Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma. Read on to find out more about getting a GED in Pennsylvania.

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Who's Eligible for a GED?

In Pennsylvania, you must be 18 years old and not enrolled in high school. You must also be a resident of Pennsylvania and able to prove your identity and residency with documentation like a driver's license.

You can also take the GED in Pennsylvania at 16 or 17, but you'll have to satisfy additional requirements, such as submitting a letter from your former principal or school superintendent stating that you have withdrawn from school. You'll also need a letter from a postsecondary school, the U.S. armed services or an employer stating that you need a GED in order to enter their program.

What's on the Test?

The exam covers information you would have learned in high school. The GED is made up of five tests measuring knowledge and skills in reading, writing, science, social studies and mathematics. Most tests contain 50 multiple-choice questions, with the exception of the reading portion, which only contains 40 questions, and the writing section, which also contains an essay.

What's a Passing Score?

You must pass all five of the GED tests with a total score of 2,250, which averages to 450 per test. A minimum of 410 is required on each test or it will need to be repeated. Contact your test center for details about retaking the test.

Where Are the Test Centers?

You must take the GED at an official testing center. The American Council on Education (ACE) lists the official GED testing sites on its website ( After accessing the website, you will be directed to enter your zip code, and then the nearest test centers will be listed for you. Directions, hours and times of testing are often provided.

What Kind of Preparation Is Available?

You can prepare for the exam by studying manuals, which you can purchase or check out from the library. Pennsylvania offers free preparation programs for the GED. A directory of locations is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website. Adult education sites usually provide specific areas of GED instruction, and the staff may administer practice tests, help you enroll in courses or refer you to programs and resources. A directory of preparation centers is also available on the ACE website.

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